FMS Lady Rockets' late burst does in Lady Cougars
The FMS Lady Rockets improved to 6-1 on the season thanks to a late offensive burst that put them over the top in a five-inning, 16-6 run-rule win over E.A. Cox Wednesday night in Chapel Hill.
Seventh grader Lainey Mays led the way with a big day at the plate for FMS, going 3-4 with three runs scored, three RBIs, and a stolen base.
Mays overcame some early wildness in the circle, tossing all five innings for the victory, while giving up two earned runs on seven hits, striking out 11 Lady Cougar batters, walking four and hitting two.
Mays escaped a first inning, two-on, two-out jam before the Lady Rockets opened the scoring with a four-run bottom of the first.
Kelsey Darnell started the rally with a one-out single, Amanda Patterson reached next on a base on balls before Taylor Patin knocked in Darnell to make it 1-0.
Dani Hoeft followed with a ground-out RBI and Piper Elmore made it three-zip with a base hit up the middle.
Samantha King reached on an error that scored Elmore, staking Mays to an early 4-0 lead.
In the top of the second, E.A. Cox cut the score in half on two hits, two walks and a passed ball with Natassia Lyles gaining an RBI.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Mays singled to right field, stole second and scampered all the way home on an errant throw to make it 5-2.
There was no scoring in third inning, and in the top of the fourth, the Lady Cougars came all the way back to tie the contest at 5-5 on just one hit by Taylor Burton, who led off the frame with a single.
Mays walked two batters, uncorked two wild pitches, and another run scored on an error as the contest went to the home half of the fourth where the Lady Rockets exploded for five more runs.
King doubled to lead off the inning, Cassie Whitworth singled to make it first and third, and Kyleah Hengesbach drove in King with a shot to left field to break the tie.
Mays singled to left and the ball went to the fence on an error as Whitworth trotted home.
Darnell drew a walk to put Lady Rocket runners on first and second before Patterson cleared the sacks with a two-bagger into the left-field gap to double the score at 10-5.
In the top of the fifth, Abby Blalock was drilled by Mays with one out, Burton singled to make it first and second, and after a strikeout by Mays, Lyles beat out a grounder to load the bases.
A wild pitch by Mays scored Blalock from third, but the inning ended on a grounder to Patterson at first base.
Elmore beat out a bunt to lead off the home half of the inning and King doubled again to put runners on second and third.
Lady Cougar hurler Kimber Bennett looked like she would escape the jam on consecutive ground-ball outs, but Mays came up and roped a triple to score two more and trotted home on a throwing error on the play to make it 13-6.
Darnell singled, Patterson doubled her home, and Patin knocked in Patterson to up the score to 15-5.
Hannah Haynes singled to right, and with Elmore at the plate again, Patin trotted home with the game-ending run on a wild pitch.
Patterson went 2-3 with a base on balls, three RBIs and two runs scored, Darnell finished with a 2-3 night with a walk and three runs scored, Patin went 2-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, Elmore had two hits in three at bats with a ribbie and crossed home twice, and King finished with a 2-3 effort and two runs scored.
Burton had a perfect night at the plate for the Lady Cougars, going 3-3 with two runs scored.
The Lady Rockets travel to LMS on Thursday before embarking to Spring Hill Middle School for weekend tournament action where they will face Heritage Middle School in round one, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
The tournament will continue into Saturday with the championship game scheduled for 6:30 p.m.